A bit of Irish wit led to the LSU Tiger Marching Band honoring former Riverdance company member Ray Davoren’s Irish roots at its Friday rehearsal.
Davoren is a native of Hollywood in County Wicklow, Ireland, and a former singer with the touring Riverdance company. When he heard the band play the title song from “Riverdance” during halftime of the Oct. 18 LSU-Kentucky game, he knew he had to make a connection.
“We were watching the game on television with our friend, whose daughter Sophie Guidry is a trumpet player in the band,” Davoren said. “That’s when I found out that the band had T-shirts that said, ‘There’s no home like your own home’ in Gaelic.”
Daroven, who lives in Lafayette, requested one of the shirts by making a comical “drunk video.” In it, he pretends to be drunk while making his case for why the band should give him the shirt.
He sent the video to Director of Athletic Bands Roy King, who then sent the video to his 325 band members. King invited Davoren to the band’s Friday rehearsal, where the native of Ireland was presented a T-shirt along with other Tiger Band memorabilia.
But the informal ceremony didn’t stop there. Daroven and his wife, Sheila, a former dancer with Riverdance, own the Ryan School of Irish Dance in Lafayette. The Riverdance is part of the school’s repertoire, and the couple’s daughters Roisin, 10, and Aoife, 8, are among the students.
The two girls, along with a fellow dance school student, 6-year-old Amelie Aucoin, lined up in front of the band while King asked band members to take out their sheet music for “Riverdance.”
The band played the song while the girls performed the dance.
“This was the first time I’ve ever had any success making a ‘drunk video,’” Daroven said. “When I was in Ireland, we didn’t have many chances to hear a band like LSU’s. This is an honor.”